By Michael Skywood Clifford
It's a beautiful late afternoon and here I am in this wine bar/ pub, an alarming mishmash of style. It may be sunny outside but in here it's dark. In front of me are two big Georgian windows yet the sun outside fails to penetrate them. The sunlight eventually moves along the road and creeps up around the incoming steps and blindingly illuminates the door entrance, like some advancing Holy Grail. The room is decorated with black, black, black plastic rectangular tiles all over the place. They give it quite a modern feel, but also devour any light pulses that enter. I'm in the lower level of a pub called the Firefly, in Worcester, England.
Mat is the guy serving and he is very agreeable. He has a lot of time. He doesn't hurry you. He is not desperate to be somewhere else. Despite it being dark, the room is very warm and I'm enjoying the cold liquid.
I sit down and look again. The electric wall candle lights are very 70s. Several candelabra combine both electric candles and single lamps with flared lampshades hanging down from the ceiling. These are placed amongst individual single bulb lamps hanging from ceilings, once again with large flared and pleated lampshades.
Cuban music blasts away in the shade away from the heat outside. I feel like Graham Greene, I feel like Hemmingway, I feel like Orson Wells. It's very effective pale ale, Wye Valley. The combination of pale ale, Cuban music and sunshine is electric. Inspirational. My blood flows with excitement…
A moose's head sticks out overhead from the Victorian fireplace making me feel it's okay to be a Surrealist. Yellow gold Christmas fairy lights surround it. They are also on the ceiling and around the walls. There is a sofa reminiscent of Louis 14th with almost hand-carved matching chairs. A mixture of tables stand on a wooden boarded floor.
Ambient music now – loops of sounds that subtly change but are are about a shower of sound, harmonies vocals digital delay, backward reverberation.
A collection of old analogue cameras crowd on a glass shelf. Most of the strange moderately sized pictures have big mounts and little cut away centres containing miniscule pictures of people. Others have Paul Klee type abstract designs.
The music now is now some psychedelic sampling of the ancient Mike Sammes singers (who would ever remember them?) It works because it allows punters to converse over it, yet also a sort of highbrow musak. Now a boom boom bass mix with ambient sound over it, especially synthesized vox, the words surprisingly audible.